Panel Discussion: Waste Ground


Artists Rob Reed, Tom Spooner and Simon King join Ana Schmidt during her solo exhibition to discuss what makes urban waste ground such an interesting and inspiring place for many artists.

Ana Schimdt's architecture training and day job as an Urban Planner influences her painting.

"By employing an almost photorealistic approach, she deliberately seeks out seemingly surreal subjects that might otherwise be characterized as banal. The effect is to create a narrative about the human condition in contrast to our urban surroundings. The motorways, bypasses, waste transfer stations, recycling facilities and factories are the social fringe that stands on the periphery of our urban centres are what ultimately speak to Schmidt." - Anise Stevens

Rob Reed describes his work as that of a ‘Romantic Realist’, depicting a sense of melancholy deriving from the loss of Romanticism’s admiration of the sublime found in nature. "My subject matter is about bringing to light aspects that we consider the mundane and moments which we usually disregard or miss brought to attention for audiences to develop a new sense of appreciation for such." Rob has exhibited widely, including with the New English Art Club and at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Tom Spooner is an artist and educator. With a particular interest in the more marginal settings of his native southwest London, Tom’s work reflects a move towards disclosing poetic structures of embodied subjective experience and recovering meaningful intuitions of ‘nature’ and ‘being’ within a wider, immeasurable, urban totality. Tom has exhibited, lectured and published in the UK and abroad and has work permanently held in the V&A Prints Collection, as well as numerous private collections. Alongside his personal practice, Tom currently teaches on the Illustration BA (Hons) programme at the University of Northampton. 

Simon King, co-founder of the Walkative project, is a tutor at the RCA.  Currently undertaking a practice-led PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, King's research is interested in the dialogic, convivial and performative aspects of group-led walking. As Noble & King he works and walks collaboratively with the artist Corinne Noble towards the creation of public art walks in London. 

Image: Ana Schmidt This is not Graffiti (detail)